Starting a Photography Business – My Journey

Nicola AndrewsA Little About MeLeave a Comment

One of the top questions I get asked is, how did you become a photographer?

I think people like to think there is a specific route you need to go down, and maybe there is… but that isn’t how I got here.

I started Red Peacock Photography almost 10 years ago (it’s gone far too quickly!).

At the time, I was working as a receptionist for an estate agents, and dreaming of bigger and better things. When myself and my now husband started dating, he said to me “you’ve always got a camera in your hands, and love taking photos – why aren’t you doing something with it?”

My answer – “who gets to do the thing they love as a job?”

Yep, that was the moment. I mean – why can’t you do something you love?! I always knew I wanted to do something creative, I just didn’t know what it was.

Lets go back a bit –

So, my GCSEs were well in the past, a BTEC diploma in Art and Design from when I was 18 (where I did no photography) and an AS in photography (in which I learnt art history and how to develop film).

I also enrolled on a 10 week Photoshop course – which was pretty helpful.

Not really the makings of a business owner, hey?

But you know what I did have? People skills, and eye for pretty compositions and the desire to do more with my life!

What were the first steps?

With the help of Mark, I set up a Facebook page, I named it (I’ll tell you about the business name another time), shared it, and started offering free photo sessions. Yep that’s right – I just threw myself out there and hoped for the best.

I started to build a portfolio. I researched all things photography. I YouTubed newborn sessions until the early hours of the morning, I Facebook stalked a couple of American wedding photographers and I second shot three weddings.

I threw myself into the world of photography 100%. I was totally in the zone!

I then started charging people for my skills, and over time word spread, I built up a following on social media and luckily someone took a punt on me and let me shoot their wedding!

Now to say I feel lucky that this was enough to start my own business is an understatement. Was it easy? Absolutely not! Did I work a full time job, plus evenings, plus weekends for two and a half years – yes I did. Did I miss out on social events because of ridiculous working hours? Yes.

Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

I am so proud of how far I’ve come as a photographer, a business woman and a person. Being self employed is bloody hard work but the benefits have far out weighed the sleepless nights and uncertainty.

I’ve managed to be a stay at home mum and continue to keep my business booming, and for that I am honestly pretty damn proud of myself!

If you want to hear more, then please have a listen to the Podcast – Your Dream or Mine with Laura Cruise in which we chatted all things business start up!

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